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Eyes on the Ivy

By Mirolla Mekaiel

Source by Suha Tasfia

A high-achieving high schooler anxiously awaits her Ivy League decisions during Ivy Day, which took place on March 30, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Ivy Day is when Ivy League schools announce their admissions decisions for regular decision first-year applicants. Many seniors were anxious about their long-anticipated decisions and were hopefully awaiting good news.

“Many people apply to Ivy League schools for fun or because they actually care about the school and its environment,” senior Kushpreet Ahuja said. “Ivies have such a big name and high expectations which increase the anticipation for decisions.”

“I think it has such high anticipation since [the] Ivy League has a very well-known brand and many students and parents believe that attending one will provide unmatched levels of opportunities and resources to pursue their academic and career passions,” senior Paul Wang said.

Yet again, this year’s applicant pool proved that high standardized test scores and grades are not the only quality that highly competitive schools look for in applicants, but rather only a fraction of what admissions officers are looking for to predict their contribution to the school’s community.

The 2022-2023 admissions cycle received a large applicant pool which could be attributed to the fact that SAT and ACT requirements continued to be optional since the start of the pandemic. Because of these lifted mandates, many students feel more comfortable to apply to highly selective schools.

“I think the competitiveness of Ivy Leagues as well as colleges in general get more competitive each year as the applicant pool increases,” Wang said. “This year may have been slightly complicated since more people applied to top schools during the pandemic due to newly instituted test-optional policies, but for the most part, that trend continued this admissions cycle.”

Some seniors who experienced the Ivy League application process gave advice to rising seniors who may be applying to Ivy League schools in the upcoming admissions cycle.

“Getting into a top school is great, but your talents and abilities are so much more than the decision that you get...”

“I think the strongest part of my application was that it demonstrated a vision as to why I want to study my field and how my extracurriculars and interests relate to that goal,” Wang said. “In addition, make sure your recommenders know this about your application too, so that their letters can really tie your application together. Ultimately though, even the most qualified applicant can be rejected, since there is simply such a small number of spots available. A lot of the decision process comes down to things you can’t possibly control or predict. The best advice I could give someone is that you will do awesome wherever you end up. Getting into a top school is great, but your talents and abilities are so much more than the decision that you get from a few elite universities.”

“I would advise all students to take Ivy League applications seriously and not just for fun. Sound passionate in your essays as Ivies take essays really seriously as most applicants already have the highest GPAs and test scores,” Ahuja said. “Try to plan out some of your essays early on so you aren’t stuck writing too many essays the night before the due date as all applications are due around the same time.”


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